Charles Hillman

Charles Hillman
Northeastern University | NEU · Department of Psychology and Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, & Rehabilitation Sciences

PhD

About

459
Publications
181,990
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25,310
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2000 - August 2016
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Position
  • Professor
July 1997 - June 2000
University of Maryland, College Park

Publications

Publications (459)
Article
Purpose: Childhood obesity is a global health concern, with >340 million youth considered overweight or obese. In addition to contributing greatly to health care costs, excess adiposity associated with obesity is considered a major risk factor for premature mortality from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and is also negatively associated wit...
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Childhood obesity and its negative relation with children’s brain health has become a growing health concern. Over the last decade, literature has indicated that physical activity attenuates cognitive impairment associated with obesity and excess adiposity in children. However, there is no comprehensive review that considers the extent to which the...
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Although well-evidenced in older adults, the effects of exercise on the hippocampus in youth are relatively unknown. This study examined the impact of a 6-month school-based physical activity intervention on hippocampal metabolism in adolescents using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A subset of lower fit older adolescents [N = 56, 61% female, 16.1...
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Approximately 4–11% of children suffer from sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), and children with obesity are at increased risk. Both obesity and SDB have been separately associated with poorer brain health, yet whether SDB severity affects brain health in children with obesity remains unanswered. This study aimed to examine associations of SDB sever...
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Introduction: Individual differences in brain structure and function in older adults are potential proxies of brain reserve or maintenance and may provide mechanistic predictions of adherence to exercise. We hypothesized that multimodal neuroimaging features would predict adherence to a six-month randomized controlled trial of exercise in 131 olde...
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Introduction The objective of the present work is to investigate the prospective associations between physical fitness components (cardiorespiratory fitness, motor fitness, and muscular strength) and two domains of executive function, working memory, and inhibitory control, in adolescents. Methods A total of 422 Spanish adolescents (13.35 ± 1.54 y...
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Background: This study aimed to investigate the associations of grip strength with incidence and mortality from dementia and whether these associations differ by sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. Methods: A total of 466 788 participants of the UK Biobank (median age 56.5 years, 54.5% women). The outcome was all-cause dementia incidence and...
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Objectives To investigate the effects of exercise on intelligence, executive functions, academic performance and brain outcomes in children with overweight/obesity. In secondary analyses, we explored potential mediators and moderators of the exercise effects. Methods A total of 109 children (8-11.9y) with overweight/obesity were randomized (intent...
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Aim: Participation in classroom physical activity breaks may improve children’s cognition, but few studies have involved adolescents. The primary aim of this study was to examine the effects of classroom-based resistance training with and without cognitive training on adolescents’ cognitive function. Methods: Participants were 97 secondary school s...
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The main purpose of this systematic review was to examine past literature focusing on the potential relationship between exercise (or physical activity or cardiorespiratory fitness [CRF]) and functional brain connectivity in healthy adults. Among the studies meeting this purpose, we also evaluated studies investigating whether, and how, functional...
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Sedentary behaviors are increasing at the cost of millions of dollars spent in health care and productivity losses due to physical inactivity-related deaths worldwide. Understanding the mechanistic predictors of sedentary behaviors will improve future intervention development and precision medicine approaches. It has been posited that humans have a...
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There is an increasing prevalence of poor health behaviors during childhood, particularly in terms of physical activity and nutrition. This trend has occurred alongside a growing body of evidence linking these behaviors to cognitive function. B-vitamins are thought to be particularly important in the neural development that occurs during pregnancy,...
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Previous studies have shown that engaging in musical activities throughout the lifespan may buffer age-related decline in auditory and motor function, as well as in general cognitive function. MRI studies have demonstrated that individuals with musical training and experience exhibited greater grey matter volume and functional connectivity in exten...
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The study of how engagement in enriching cognitive, physical, and social activities in childhood impacts cognitive function decades later will advance our understanding of how modifiable lifestyle activities promote cognition across the lifespan. Eighty-eight healthy older adults (aged 60–80 years) returned a retrospective questionnaire regarding t...
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Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine whether physical activity, fitness and motor skills have indirect association with math performance via cognitive outcomes and if so, through which aspects of cognition? Methods This study comprised 311 6th–9th grade adolescents (12–17y [M age=14.0y], 59% girls) from seven schools throughout Finland...
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Objectives The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature investigating the acute effects of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on executive functions (EFs) in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and perform a meta-analysis of the effects of MVPA on task components that require lower and highe...
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Previous research has established an impact of acute exercise on cognitive performance, which has inspired investigations into neurobiological mechanisms that may underlie the observed benefits. Pupillary responses have been posited to reflect activation of such underlying neurobiological mechanisms. The current study recruited healthy young adults...
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Individualized and precision medicine approaches to exercise for cognitive and brain health in aging have the potential to improve intervention efficacy. Predicting adherence to an exercise intervention in older adults prior to its commencement will allow for adaptive and optimized approaches that could save time (no need to demonstrate failure bef...
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Individual differences in brain network modularity at baseline can predict improvements in cognitive performance after cognitive and physical interventions. This study is the first to explore whether brain network modularity predicts changes in cortical brain structure in 8‐ to 9‐year‐old children involved in an after‐school physical activity inter...
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An increasing number of studies has focused on the after-effects of acute aerobic exercise on executive function. To date, empirical evidence lacks consensus regarding whether acute aerobic exercise has beneficial effects on executive function. To identify possible sources of this discrepancy, the present study focused on executive function demands...
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Background: High macular pigment optical density (MPOD) has been associated with improved eye health and better cognitive functions. Genetic variations have been associated with MPOD in adults. However, these associations between genetic variations and MPOD have not been studied in children. Objectives: This was a secondary analysis of the FK2 (...
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Importance Cardiorespiratory fitness is an important marker of childhood health and low fitness levels are a risk factor for disease later in life. Levels of children's fitness have declined in recent decades. Whether school-based physical activity interventions can increase fitness at the population level remains unclear. Objective To evaluate th...
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Sedentary behavior increases the risk for multiple chronic diseases, early mortality, and accelerated cognitive decline in older adults. Interventions to reduce sedentary behavior among older adults are needed to improve health outcomes and reduce the burden on healthcare systems. We designed a randomized controlled trial that uses a self-affirmati...
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Introduction: Supervised exercise interventions are expensive and time intensive. However, there are financial costs to consider in addition to the intervention itself, namely: advertising and recruitment, outcome assessments, and other trial-related costs. Objectives: In this analysis, we examine the financial costs associated with the administ...
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The current study focused on the effects of an 8-week motor skill-based physical activity (i.e., gymnastics) program on the contingent negative variation derived from event-related brain potentials (CNV-ERP) during a working memory task in children. Children aged 7-10 years old were assigned to a gymnastics group (n = 26) or a wait-list control gro...
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Physical activity (PA) is widely considered to improve sleep, but a comprehensive review of the research on this topic has not been performed. In this umbrella review, conducted initially for the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee and updated to reflect more recent research, we examined whether PA enhances sleep outc...
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Enriching early life experiences (e.g., sport, art, music, volunteering, language learning) during a critical period of brain development may promote structural and functional brain changes that are still present decades later (>60 years). We assessed whether a greater variety of enriching early life activities (EELA) before age 13 years were assoc...
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Despite well-established benefits, the majority of young people around the globe are not sufficiently active. In many countries, including Australia, physical activity (i.e. physical education and school sport) is not mandatory in the final two years of high school (i.e. senior school years). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a time...
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This study aimed to analyze the associations of activity‐rest pattern indicators with academic achievement, executive function, and intelligence and to explore whether these associations are mediated by the total gray matter volume among children with overweight/obesity. Ninety‐five children (10 ± 1 year, 37 girls) with overweight/obesity (based on...
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Background There is an increasing prevalence of physical inactivity during childhood, which is associated with a variety of health problems. However, the mechanisms by which acute exercise benefits cognition in childhood remains unknown. Here we describe the protocol for a randomized crossover trial called SNEACY (Sympathetic Nervous System & Exerc...
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the indirect effects of cardiorespiratory fitness on scholastic performance through executive functions. More precisely, we examined the contribution of the different domains of executive functions, and whether this relationship was specific to certain school topics. Methods: Children 8-12 years...
Preprint
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Information about a persons available energy resources is integrated in daily behavioral choices that weigh motor costs against expected rewards. It has been posited that humans have an innate attraction towards effort minimization and that executive control is required to overcome this prepotent disposition. With sedentary behaviors increasing at...
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It remains unclear whether the provision of additional physical activity in school improves academic outcomes. We conducted a secondary analysis of the Childhood Health, Activity, and Motor Performance School Study Denmark (CHAMPS-study DK), a natural experiment based on a trebling of curricular physical education, to investigate whether children r...
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No studies have analyzed the longitudinal associations of change in physical fitness components and obesity with academic performance. The aim of the study was to examine longitudinal associations of changes in physical fitness components and body mass index with academic performance among youth, and whether the physical fitness components are mode...
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Introduction: Prevalence of chronic hypohydration remains elevated among adults in the USA; however, the health effects of hypohydration in regards to human gut health have not been explored. Methods: This study examined the relationship between total water intake, hydration biomarkers (first-morning urine specific gravity [FMUsg], first-morning...
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Background Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important marker of current and future health status. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of a time-efficient school-based intervention on older adolescents’ CRF. Methods Two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial conducted in two cohorts (February 2018 to February 2019 and Febr...
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Process evaluations can help to optimise the implementation of school-based physical activity interventions. The purpose of this paper is to describe the process evaluation of a school-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program for older adolescent students, known as Burn 2 Learn (B2L). B2L was evaluated via a cluster randomised controll...
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Full and diverse participant enrollment is critical to the success and generalizability of all large-scale Phase III trials. Recruitment of sufficient participants is among the most significant challenges for many studies. The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has further changed and challenged the landscape for clinical trial execution, includ...
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Background There is an increasing prevalence of physical inactivity during childhood, concurrent with a rise in obesity rates, which is associated with a variety of health problems. However, the extent to which increased body mass index (BMI) influences acute physical activity (PA) benefits on cognition in childhood remains unknown. The aim of this...
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This study investigated the effects of high-intensity interval training¹ (HIIT) and moderate-intensity continuous exercise² (MICE) on behavioral performance and neural correlates of working memory. Thirty-six 18–30 years adults were recruited to perform a 20-min bout of HIIT, MICE, and rest on separate days in counterbalanced order. Following inter...
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The current study examined the effects of acute moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (MAE) on inhibitory control and resting-state heart rate variability (HRV) in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Our data show that acute MAE resulted in higher response accuracy of a modified flanker task regardless of task difficulty fo...
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Physical activity (PA) can improve physical, mental, cognitive, and brain health throughout the lifespan. During preadolescent childhood, the benefits of PA for cognitive health have been widely studied, with evidence indicating enhanced executive control, improved academic performance, and adaptation in underlying brain structure and function. Acr...
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Objective: The benefits of exergaming on executive function in children have been increasingly reported; however, weight-dependent effects of exergames on executive function, and inhibitory control in particular, remain poorly understood. We examined performance on an inhibitory control task at baseline and following acute bouts of exergaming in ch...
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Maintaining or improving quality of life (QoL) and well-being is a universal goal across the lifespan. Being physically active has been suggested as one way to enhance QoL and well-being. In this systematic review, conducted in part for the 2018 U.S. Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Scientific Advisory Committee...
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The present study aims (i) to examine the association of physical fitness components (i.e., cardiorespiratory fitness, speed-agility, and muscular fitness) with brain current source density during working memory; and (ii) to examine whether fitness-related current density was associated to working memory performance and academic achievement. Eighty...
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Scholastic performance is the key metric by which schools measure student's academic success, and it is important to understand the neural-correlates associated with greater scholastic performance. This study examines resting-state functional connectivity (RsFc) associated with scholastic performance (reading and mathematics) in preadolescent child...
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Objectives Physical fitness is a modifiable factor associated with enhanced brain health during childhood. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to examine: (i) whether physical fitness components (i.e., cardiorespiratory, motor and muscular fitness) are associated with resting state functional connectivity of hippocampal seeds to differ...
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Standard anatomical atlases are common in neuroimaging because they facilitate data analyses and comparisons across subjects and studies. The purpose of this study was to develop a standardized human brain atlas based on the physical mechanical properties (i.e., tissue viscoelasticity) of brain tissue using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). MR...
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Introduction: Brain network modularity is a principle that quantifies the degree to which functional brain networks are divided into subnetworks. Higher modularity reflects a greater number of within-module connections and fewer connections between modules, and a highly modular brain is often interpreted as a brain that contains highly specialized...
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How daily physical activity and sedentary time relate to human judgement and functional connectivity (FC) patterns that support them remains underexplored. We investigated the relationships between accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time to decision-making competence (DMC) in young adults using a comp...
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Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy provides measures of brain chemistry that are sensitive to cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition. The concentration of N-acetyl aspartic acid (NAA) is of particular interest because it is a marker of neuronal integrity and cognition. The ratio of NAA to creatine, a standard reference metabolite, has been sho...
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The aim of the current study was to examine the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and electroencephalogram-based neural oscillations, using midfrontal theta, during an inhibitory control task in children. One-hundred seventy-one school-aged children (mean age = 8.9 ± 0.6 years; 46% girls) were recruited. Cardiorespiratory fitness was as...
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Background Children with overweight/obesity have poorer sleep and smaller gray matter volume (GMV) than normal‐weight children. No studies have investigated the associations of objectively‐assessed sleep and GMV in children with overweight/obesity, or their implications for academic and cognitive outcomes. Objectives To explore the associations of...
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Background Physical activity (PA) is beneficial for cognitive and brain health during preadolescence. Given that childhood obesity (OB) is a public health concern, investigating this effect in children with OB is an important societal consideration. Objectives To identify the effects of weight status and PA on neuroelectric indices of executive fu...
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Findings regarding the effects of regular physical activity on cognition in children have been inconsistent due to a number of demographic factors and experimental considerations. The present study was designed to examine baseline cognitive performance and executive function demands, as possible factors underlying the lack of consensus in the liter...